Athlon: 18 B1G stars earn preseason All-America honors

Athlon Sports released its College Football 2014 All-America Team on Monday, and 18 Big Ten stars made the cut, with Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon, Ohio State DT Michael Bennett and Michigan State P Mike Sadler earning first-team distinction. See all of Athlon’s Big Ten preseason All-Americans in this post.

[ MORE: How does Athlon’s list compare to Phil Steele’s? ]

OFFENSE
QB: Braxton Miller, Ohio State – 3rd team
RB: Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin – 1st team
RB: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska – 2nd team
RB: Jeremy Langford, Michigan State – 4th team
TE: Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State – 3rd team
T: Brandon Scherff, Iowa – 2nd team
AP: Stefon Diggs, Maryland – 2nd team

First impression: Diggs is going to be an exciting addition to the Big Ten; in fact, he may be the conference’s most prolific player. Also, the Melvin-Ameer battle for the Big Ten’s top back is going to be so much fun to watch this season.

DEFENSE
DT: Michael Bennett, Ohio State – 1st team
DT: Carl Davis, Iowa – 4th team
DE: Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State – 2nd team
DE: Randy Gregory, Nebraska – 2nd team
DE: Joey Bosa, Ohio State – 4th team
LB: Jake Ryan, Michigan – 4th team
CB: Trae Waynes, Michigan State – 4th team
S: Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State – 3rd team

First impression: The Big Ten is going to be absolutely stacked on the defensive line. Prediction: Bosa, Calhoun or Gregory will be a postseason first-team All-America.

SPECIAL TEAMS
P: Mike Sadler, Michigan State – 1st team
P: Cameron Johnston, Ohio State – 3rd team
PR: Venric Mark, Northwestern – 4th team

First impression: It’s great to see Mark getting some respect this offeseason. He’s coming off an injury-plagued year, but he seems to be flying way under the radar entering 2013. The Big Ten’s depth at running back certainly plays a role in that.

View Athlon’s full 2014 Preseason All-America Team.

About Brent Yarina BTN.com senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.

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